your bill, their billboard, my nausea

This mortgage foreclosure has been sponsored by Crest White Strips and the new Ford Focus.  Today's Wall Street Journal has a story about banks, credit card and healthcare companies selling targeted advertising space on monthly bills in an effort to offset printing costs.  They call it "transpromotional marketing."  I call it kinda gross.  Nothing goes better with that nagging sense of fiscal helplessness like intrusive advertising.  We may have a credit and healthcare crisis, but if it gets people to buy stuff...yay!   


Ben Kunz said...

Right on. I used to run a marketing department for a home utility company, where bills were a major trigger for customer defection. The folks in credit considered using the bills for marketing, and we had constant pressure to include buckslip inserts to cross-sell other home services.

The problem is people only do the math one way -- how much can we earn from this "new, cheap" bill advertising channel. What they miss is the adverse impact, or the annoyance that all that crap in the bill creates for your other, loyal customers, probably struggling to figure out why they're paying you so much.

All of this reminds me of people who wear too much perfume or cologne. Sure, you may attract a few to you -- but be careful, you may turn more people off.

darryl ohrt said...

Here's a little trick to at least make you feel better about those bills.

Send all of the flyers and ads and promo offers back in the envelope, with your check. I've been doing this for years, and it puts a smile on my face every time I seal a fat envelope knowing that someone else has to dig for the check.

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